Ask a Question forum: wrapping fig tree?

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Richmond, VA
Jan 5, 2018 7:24 PM CST
I recently bought a house and, with it, a flourishing fig tree here in Richmond, VA. I'm not sure what type of fig, but the fruit were brown back in October. The tree is well established (in the ground, not a container); I guess it is about four or five years old, and it has been carefully pruned to an open branching form, about 6 feet tall. I don't know if the previous owners wrapped it in past winters. I did not wrap it earlier because I supposed it could handle temps in the twenties. But it dropped to single digits last night, so I hastily wrapped the fig in burlap today. I have a few questions for the forum: first, is burlap alone going to have any effect? Second, should I take off the wrap as soon as we're beyond any reasonable danger of single digits--or should I wait until it really warms up? Thanks for any advice to this first-time poster!

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Jan 5, 2018 8:39 PM CST
My experience is limited to the NYC area where it is generally colder than where you are in VA. However, the rent cold freeze has changed a lot of things. You are probably late in wrapping it after it has already dropped well below freezing. In my area, the Ficus carica trees are wrapped in burlap and then completely covered with a plastic tarp for further protection against wind chill. I recommend leaving it protected until temps are well above freezing in the spring.

All of that said, you may want to check with some Ficus carica owners in your area to see what is customary.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Richmond, VA
Jan 5, 2018 9:17 PM CST
Thanks for the advice, Will. I will definitely check around to see what other folks are doing. I haven't seen any wrapped trees in the neighborhood. But, as you say, this freeze is changing things.

I did watch several Youtube clips of people wrapping their trees, but mine is much more "tree-like" than most of those. It's not composed of a bunch of flexible canes; it's four quite sturdy main trunks, about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, branching out in an open shape. It would be impossible to gather it into a cone for simple wrapping, so I wrapped each of the main stems separately. Fingers crossed!

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